An increase in the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in and around Kunsan Air Force Base in South Korea has prompted the Air Force to house unvaccinated personnel there and all staff to remain on the base.
In an email to Military.com Tuesday morning, Captain Scarlett Trujillo, Public Affairs Director of the 8th Fighter Squadron in Kunsan confirmed that Squadron Commander Col. John Gallemore is keeping all personnel on the base due to the increase in COVID cases. The restrictions were introduced on July 15th and apply to both vaccinated and unvaccinated personnel.
A day later, Gallemore ordered the wing’s unvaccinated staff to stay in their rooms.
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“Due to the increased number of confirmed COVID-19 cases at Kunsan Air Force Base and the surrounding area, the 8th Fighter Squadron is taking increased COVID-19 precautionary measures out of the greatest caution,” Trujillo said in the email.
The unofficial Facebook page Air Force amn / nco / snco posted a July 18 memo from Gallemore on Sunday regarding the proper arrangement of the shelter.
During the shelter’s arrangement, Trujillo said that unvaccinated people will largely be kept in their own rooms. You can go to get food – but only to pick up take-away meals, shop at the police station, or get grocery deliveries – to engage in outdoor fitness activities and for safety reasons, she said.
Gallemore’s memo states that unvaccinated personnel are also entitled to travel from home to their place of work if they test negative for COVID. They must also continue to monitor their health with self-administered COVID tests once a week.
Trujillo said the protection is temporary and only applies to the wing’s staff.
Trujillo’s email did not indicate whether non-wing personnel were also restricted in their movement to the base.
Gallemore wrote in his memo that service members who refuse to obey the restrictions in force could face a penalty. Non-service members who violate the restrictions could be denied access to the base or be completely banned from the base for up to two years.
Kunsan’s moves come as COVID vaccinations stall across the country and the military, and concerns grow over the spread of a highly contagious mutation of the disease called the Delta variant.
The Pentagon, which at some point hoped to have all servicemen vaccinated by mid-July, said last week that 70% of active troops received at least one vaccination.
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